Free agent Lassana Diarra has been training with West Ham in recent weeks and manager Sam Allardyce is confident he’ll be a great addition to his squad should negotiations go successfully.
The 29-year-old has great pedigree having played for giants Real Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal but has been without a club since leaving Lokomotiv Moscow in August.
He is not too far away from match-fitness, though, and could feature for the Hammers inside a fortnight if the expected deal is completed.
“I'm not sure what the state of negotiations are but he has been training with us recently. As soon as he is fit and ready he'll be a great addition to our squad,” Allardyce told the official club website.
“He's not ready to be involved in first team but hopefully he's not too far away. We're not in any rush but he would be a good addition if and when it happens.”
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Diarra’s spell in Moscow ended in dramatic circumstances after reports he refused to train following a bust-up with the manager Leonid Kuckuk, however Allardyce appears to be pleased with what he’s seen of the former France international.
Also, with the Hammers having missed out on the signing of Manchester United man Darren Fletcher in the January transfer window, with him opting to join West Brom, Diarra could fill that void and take some of the pressure off of the current midfield crop.
Going into the final 14 games of the campaign with an FA Cup run to contend with West Ham’s strength-in-depth will be tested and Diarra could be vital in sustaining their season’s high hopes should they pick up any more injuries.
While the Frenchman may not be the answer long-term he would bring top level experience to the team which could be invaluable going into the business end of the season.
Diarra is the proud owner of two FA Cup winners medals, with Chelsea and Portsmouth, and his inclusion in West Ham’s cup run-in could be a recipe for success. Hammers fans will be hoping so, anyway, as he may be able to give the team some form of insight into playing in the big matches that are to come.
He may not be the player he once was but given his experience and achievements in the game he can certainly do a job for Allardyce should he need him to in the coming weeks.